3 Best Tips for Worry-Free International Travel with CBP

Young woman tourist at international airport terminal. Time to travel, trip and vacation concepts

Going abroad may be an exciting but often overwhelming experience. To ensure that your journey goes as smoothly as possible, you must understand and follow the regulations established by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The CBP is in charge of regulating the movement of people, goods, and services between the United States and other countries. They also guarantee that travelers follow immigration regulations. Whether you are a US citizen or a visitor from another nation, the CBP has specific rules that must be obeyed.

ESTA and Automated Passport Control

Travelers entering the United States must first get ESTA authorization through US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to ensure a worry-free foreign vacation. Travelers will be faced with Automatic Passport Control (APC) after acquiring ESTA authorization. This automated technology generates an electronic arrival record based on information formerly required on the paper I-94 form.

APC lets foreign visitors use a self-service kiosk to enter their passport information, answer customs declaration questions, and submit their customs declaration forms. The kiosk issues a transaction receipt and refers travelers to a CBP officer for inspection. The entry process is complete once the CBP officer approves it, and foreign visitors no longer need to fill out paper CBP Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record or Form I-94W to enter the United States.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in-person interview at the airport

When traveling through Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the airport, it is always necessary to be prepared. At the port of entry, you may be required to complete an in-person interview with a CBP officer. The CBP inspectors are looking for any anomalies between the information on your travel documents and your replies to their queries during this interview.

Should you be selected for an in-person interview, they may ask you questions about:

  • Your purpose for traveling
  • Your plans while visiting the United States
  • How you will support yourself financially during your stay
  • Are you carrying any items of value that need to be declared?
  • How long do you intend to stay in the U.S.?

Your responses to these questions must exactly match the information on your travel documents. If they do not, CBP may refuse them entrance into the nation or apply additional fines.

Automated Passport Control and Mobile Passport Control

Going abroad may be both exciting and terrifying. Luckily, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has implemented several steps to assist visitors in moving through the border-crossing process with simplicity and efficiency.

Automated Passport Control (APC) is one example of such a measure. This method allows tourists to answer customs declaration questions at airport kiosks. Any travelers, except for those participating in the Visa Waiver Program and utilizing APC for their initial entry into the United States, can use the kiosks. Rather than filling out papers by hand, travelers can use the kiosks to scan their passports and answer questions about their trip online.

CBP provides Mobile Passport Control in addition to APC (MPC). This solution works by downloading a free and secure app to a traveler’s smartphone or tablet before their overseas flight. It allows eligible travelers to electronically submit their passport and customs declaration information. The traveler is no longer required to fill out a paper Customs and Border Protection Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record as a result of this. Travelers can use MPC to rapidly make customs declarations at airports across the country.

Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record Number

All nonimmigrants entering the United States are given a Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This form is essential to keep track of the precise date and time you entered the nation, as well as when you are anticipated to leave. It is critical for visitors to maintain their Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record since it will be used for visa renewal, proof of departure from the United States, and for foreign students who intend to engage in academic training programs in the future.

The Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record number can be accessed and retrieved online at www.cbp.gov/I94. There are two ways to retrieve your record:

  • Using your passport information
  • An admission number can be used at the port of entry.

International travelers can ensure that they have access to their I-94 data while outside of the United States. By taking this simple step before departure, you ensure a worry-free return or visa renewal process.

How to Access Your I-94 Arrival/Departure Record Online?

Online I-94 Arrival/Departure Record acquisition is essential for overseas travelers. Website of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Form I-94 acts as proof that a foreign visitor has been accepted into the United States and assists CBP in determining how long a person can legally stay in the country.

Fortunately, most travelers can simply access their I-94 arrival or departure records online from the CBP website. To do so, you must supply your personal information as well as relevant details regarding your travel history, such as passport information and departure dates from the United States. Once verified, this information will be utilized to construct an electronic version of your I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, which you can print for future reference or present upon request at CBP inspection points.

Tips for a Worry-Free International Trip with CBP

Travelers from abroad can make their U.S. entry experience a breeze by following these tips from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Here are three helpful recommendations for a worry-free international trip:

  • Cross the Land Border at Off-Peak Times: Crossing the border during non-peak hours—such as before 6:00 a.m. or after 3:00 p.m.—will assist passengers in avoiding large lineups and expediting their entry into the United States.
  • Have Your Travel Document Ready: Presenting your travel document to the CBP officer is critical for a seamless passage into and out of the United States. Keep it close by when crossing the border to minimize delays.
  • Obtain Form I-94 Upon Entering the U.S.: When entering the United States, international travelers must obtain their Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record from the CBP Office. This form helps track when they entered and departed and is required to apply for a visa extension or change of immigration status during their stay in the country, if necessary.

FAQs on US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for International Travelers

International travelers should consult CBP’s FAQ for admission and exit information. The FAQ answers many of their questions, including:

  • What is the purpose of Form I-94?
    • Form I-94 is an Arrival/Departure Record issued by the United States. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provides services to select foreign nationals upon their admission into the United States. This form serves as proof of admission status, an authorized period of stay by the Department of Homeland Security, and other important details about the visitor’s entry into the United States, such as the port of entry, date of admission, nonimmigrant classification, and expiration date of the authorized stay.
  • How can I get an electronic Form I-94 record?
    • Foreign visitors to the United States no longer need to complete a paper Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record or Form I-94W Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record when they arrive in the United States; instead, they can access their Electronic Form I-94 record at the CBP agency website, www.cbp.gov/I-94, under the “Get Most Recent I-94” option after providing basic biographical information like name, date of birth, and passport number.

International travel might be frightening, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience if you’re prepared. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offers advice to help overseas travelers make the most of their journeys. By completing the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization), you may verify that your status is current and that you can use Automated Passport Control kiosks when you arrive in the United States. Also, knowing your I-94 Arrival/Departure Record number can help speed up the customs inspection process. Your overseas travel will be worry-free and enjoyable if you plan carefully and consider US CBP information.